Tourism Medicine Hat
Their Roadside Centre Needed a Connection Solution—They Found it With Shaw Business
Jace Anderson knows that many people who come to visit Medicine Hat are stopping through on their way to another location—it comes with the territory of being a prairie town right on the trans-Canada highway. But the Executive Director of Tourism Medicine Hat sees that fact as an opportunity to win over weary travellers and convert them to ambassadors who will return for another visit.
“It’s a beautiful environment with wonderful people,” says Jace, of the river-front city of 60,000. In fact, Medicine Hat is Canada’s sunniest city, which makes its recreational scene particularly vibrant. “What it means for us is we have more opportunity to spend time outside enjoying things like our 115km of trails right in the city,” says Jace. The town also has a thriving arts scene, featuring jazz and winter folk festivals, as well as independent coffee shops, three breweries, and many local restaurants.
Jace and his small team spend their time divided between a downtown office and the highway-side visitor’s centre—where the majority of their work with the public takes place. Prior to installing Shaw Business services, however, the job wasn’t always easy.
“The service to the building was so poor. It’s been a thorn in our side for a number of years,” says Jace. “If we had three or four people stopping at the centre and there was higher internet traffic, some of the employees would have to stop working. They would turn their devices off and shut their laptops down.”
Shaw Business was proactive. When they were able to define the solution, our goal was to have it in hand prior to our busy summer season. That was a feel-good moment all around.
The Smart Solutions bundle, which includes SmartWiFi, SmartSecurity, and LTE Backup Plus, was the obvious choice for a team that required upgrades in all areas in order to better serve their customers. “When we’re able to engage with visitors at all, we have an opportunity to invite them to linger. It increases their spend, the time they spend in our community, and they leave with a positive sense of who we are,” says Jace.
Part of that engagement is a face-to-face consultation, paired with an offer to research further while on-site so agents can answer questions. “When Shaw Business was able to come in and give us the Smart Solutions bundle, that was a revolutionary point for us because it means that we can offer robust WiFi at no charge to visitors,” says Jace.
Another way Tourism Medicine Hat interacts with those who seek their advice is over the phone—primarily to two key audiences: travellers in the planning phase, and day-of visitors who are already in-market.
Shaw Business’ SmartVoice solution, with its voicemail-to-email technology, is an important element in making sure anyone who calls gets the answers they need, when they need it.
“We had a voicemail that was time-sensitive, and our site supervisor was very excited that having SmartVoice meant she didn’t have to go into the visitor’s centre on her day off,” says Jace. “She was able to deal with it in the moment from the comfort of her own home, and that was very liberating for her.”
The team will also be exploring the automated messaging feature to help field some of the more common questions they receive, freeing up time for the small staff to engage with in-person visitors. “It will allow us to focus our limited resources,” says Jace. “Any time we’re able to use technology to assist us in engaging with our locals and our visitors, that’s a win.”
And as the organization’s peak season approaches they’re happy to be more prepared to welcome new visitors and returning guests. “Shaw Business was proactive,” says Jace. “When they were able to define the solution, our goal was to have it in hand prior to our busy summer season. That was a feel-good moment all around.”
And having the technology they need to best serve anyone looking to learn more about the town gives Jace and his team the time and space to get back to what they do best—helping others discover what’s so great about Medicine Hat.
“It’s important to us that we recognize and celebrate what’s authentic about our community,” says Jace. “So we can be in the mix for an even longer stay next time visitors drive through.”